Behind the Green Netting...Images of Success in China
The Olympics is only weeks away and soon millions of eyes will be on China. Of course, reporters and cameras will be guided to give a flowering portrait of China and it's possibility in the world. As with any Olympic operation, the city has been scrambling to clean and build a shining example of it's successes to encourage both diplomacy and business. This is crunch time, however, and not everything can be covered up. Plastic netting and walls are now being built that cordon off many street vendors and shops from the thoroughfares where visitors are expected to travel, thus hiding a living, vibrant part of Beijing. These restrictions in traffic flow will definitely cut into the incomes local businesses could also be generating during this event. Residents are being pressured to sell their homes and businesses to turn their communities into landscaped blocks and new buildings. To restore buildings and aid existing business is one thing, but to hide what is being considered an undesirable view is another.
The Olympics is expected to generate $2 billion just in direct revenue (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-07/29/content_8844260.htm). That's so incredible! Can you imagine if that kind of money went into education, health care and developing sustainable jobs that won't just disappear after the Olympics? What excites me about PulseWire is that here we can share real images of success that are happening to us, our communities and the people we care about! I feel that posting about our solutions is necessary to counteract a way of thinking about people where we can't be walled off and isolated from each other.
Anyone else have stories about struggles with this kind of development going on in your neighborhoods, towns, countries? What's working for you??
New York Times article: Before Guests Arrive, Beijing Hides Some Messes